Boa still missing after clearing out Santa Fe reptile rescue

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – People are worried about a 7-foot long Dumeril’s Boa that went missing in one neighborhood.

It’s been almost a week and still, no sign of him.

Santa Fe Animal Services alerted neighbors about Tom the Boa’s disappearance.

They found out after the unexpected closure of a reptile rescue had them clearing a home of about 40 exotic animals.

The reptiles included chameleons, iguanas, bearded dragons and snakes both small and large.

“Pretty much anything that’s exotic, we brought in,” said Animal Services Supervisor Johnny Martinez.

He said it took a large part of the afternoon to take dozens of reptiles from a Santa Fe home near Saint Francis Drive and Alta Vista to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter.

“We realized we were going to need additional help,” Martinez said.

Then, the shelter, which mostly cares for cuddly critters, had to figure out where to house all of them.

“The volume is astonishing,” said Dylan Moore, Director of Adoptions at the shelter.

Snake tanks line the Animal Shelter’s front desk.

A bearded dragon is on top of a cabinet in Moore’s office.

Moore stands on a milk crate to reach in.

An iguana cage sits on his office floor and a couple of snakes rest on his desk, including Lorraine, a 7-foot long boa.

“The boa is probably the biggest challenge. It’s huge,” Moore said.

The reptiles were being cared for by a woman who ran a reptile rescue from her home, but the woman died and Animal Services was called to her home Friday.

Upon arrival, they noticed Lorraine’s companion, Tom the Boa, was missing from his tank.

“One of the doors was open, so we’re assuming it was there. Her main door was ajar, so that’s why we think it got out,” Martinez said.

The news made neighbors nervous.

“Yeah, obviously a boa gets your interest immediately,” said neighbor Joe Padilla. “I was looking in trees doing that sort of thing.”

“They wanted us to check crawl spaces, check out trees, check their yard a little bit more thoroughly than what we were,” Martinez said about the residents.

While neighbors keep an eye out for Tom, the shelter is hoping to find responsible reptile owners so they can get some office space back.

Martinez said the weather has been a little cold for the boa, so it’s unclear if he’s in hiding or if he didn’t make it outdoors.

For those who are worried, Animal Services said keep small pets inside and check warm places, even your car engines.

In 2014, a Santa Fe woman thought she was having car troubles when she found someone’s lost pet python in her engine compartment. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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